Monthly Archives: July 2007
Having moved beyond the arid speculations and nihilistic gibberish of logical positivism and deconstruction (respectively) some academic philosophers are once again addressing big questions. Questions like: What is the meaning of life? Listening to a Philosophy Bites interview with John Cottingham on my way to Joshua Tree this morning I was graced with his insightful thoughts on how a philosophy that would lead to a sense of meaning in one’s life should accommodate the inevitable vagaries and uncertainties of life â€” illness, old age, death. That simple observation, suggestion led to a new, if subtle, insight.
I have had similar insights about living and meaning in the past, but from Buddhist and other eastern teachers, never from a philosopher speaking from a western philosophical point of view. There may be a way for east and west to meet after all.
It is easy to be discouraged when one encounters or has been subject to limiting contingencies, lost opportunities, unrealized dreams, paths not taken, failures of various sorts â€” we all have them. But if one has a “philosophy” that acknowledges and accommodates them, one can move on.
I’ll hang on to that one.
What do you mean by “sorry to lose God”? — , The Brothers Karamazov XI. 4
Imagine: inside, in the nerves, in the head — that is these nerves are there in the brain…the little tails of those nerves, and as soon as they begin quivering…an image appears…that is, an object, or an action, damn it! That’s why I see and then think, because of those tails, not at all because I’ve got a soul…. It’s magnificent, Alyosha, this science! A new man’s rising — that I understand…. And yet I am sorry to lose God!